Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers NFL quarterback, has received another award for his role in sparking the NFL's league-wide national anthem protests to raise awareness of "systemic racism" and police brutality, amongst other issues.
On Sunday, Kaepernick was awarded the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award at their Bill of Rights Dinner, his second award in less than a month. In November, GQ nominated Kaepernick as its "Citizen of the Year." But Kaepernick may not be done winning awards just yet. According to USA Today, Kaepernick is said to be a finalist for TIME's Person of the Year award, along with President Trump and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Time magazine’s shortlist for “Person of the Year”:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 4, 2017
Kim Jong Un
The #MeToo movement
Kaepernick was the evening's surprise guest and received a standing ovation as he walked out on stage. During his acceptance speech, Kaepernick told those in attendance, "We all have an obligation no matter the risk, and regardless of reward, to stand up for our fellow men and women who are oppressed with the understanding that human rights cannot be compromised."
At the end of the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick decided to opt out of his NFL contract, where he forfeited millions of dollars to become a free agent in the offseason. Since he made his decision, NFL teams have passed on signing the young quarterback as Kaepernick has not played a game in the 2017 season.
At the beginning of March when news first broke of Kaepernick's decision, ESPN reported:
Kaepernick's contract was originally supposed to keep him with the Niners through 2020, but the team worked with the 29-year-old to revamp it before he reclaimed the starting job in October.
As part of the deal's reconfiguration, Kaepernick traded $14.5 million in injury guarantees during the 2017 season for the opportunity to opt out of the deal early. His decision saves the Niners his $14.5 million base salary in 2017 though he will still count nearly $2.5 million in dead money for the remainder of his signing bonus proration.
Watch Kaepernick's acceptance speech here.